How To Write An Invoice | Checklist & Template
An invoice is not only a request for payment, they often account for the majority of direct communication you have with your customers. That’s why it is worth making a good impression with them!
In this article we’ll cover some of the basics that you need to know when writing your first invoice.
1. Use your logo – and be recognised
You should always add a logo to your invoices, because a logo will guarantee direct recognition of your company. It also adds to making a good impression and helps you to be taken seriously as an entrepreneur. And it’s not only about the image: if you’re taken seriously as an entrepreneur, it’s also much more likely that your bills will get paid faster.
If you don’t have a logo yet, no need to worry. You do not have to be a graphic designer to get one. With simple online tools such as Canva, you can easily create a neat logo for free!
2. Include your contact details – so customers can get in touch
Of course, your invoices should always contain all legally required information. Beyond that, you should provide as complete and detailed information about your company as possible.
In addition to your bank details, this also applies to contact information such as:
- Your company’s phone number,
- email address,
- and website.
The easier it is to get in touch with you, the more serious and professional your billing and thus your business will be considered.
3. Clearly list your products – they are the heart of your invoice
When creating an invoice, pay special attention to the products or services you’re invoicing. They are the very heart of your invoice, so it’s crucial to have them listed clearly with simple, but descriptive names. Here’s a few examples:
- Instead of “Shoe” something like “Red Hi-Top Trainer, size 7.5” would be clearer.
- Also “Work Hour – Wall Painting” is more descriptive than just “Work Hour”.
This way, your customer can immediately see what the invoice is about.
4. Have your customers’ information in order – it’s good customer service
When writing your invoice, it is crucial to have your customers’ contact information correctly on the invoice without any mistakes. Also mind any special characters, especially if you have international customers!
Some important customer information have written on your invoice is:
- Customer number – ideally multi-digit customer IDs, they give the impression of a larger customer base and adds credibility.
5. Payment terms – the really important part!
When writing any invoice, you should always include your payment terms. This way your customer knows exactly when they have to pay.
Payment terms should include:
- Date of the invoice
- How many days after sending the invoice, the payment is due (typically 14, 30 or 60 days)
- Due date of the invoice
Also, if applicable you can include:
- Special conditions, such as discounts
- Your terms and conditions, these can be included as an attachment
What if you want to make changes to the invoice?
It’s never a good idea to just delete your invoices, since you need to keep a detailed record of all your approved invoices. In case you made a mistake on the invoice or your customer demands a refund for example, you should use a credit note. However the best way for staying legally compliant, as well as for creating credit notes for your invoices, is to use invoice software.
Checklist: How to write an invoice
Now you know how to write your first invoice!
Professional invoicing is not rocket science. Just remember to keep these points in mind when you are invoicing, and you’re good to go!
5 things to remember when writing an invoice:
- Use your company’s logo
- Include your contact information
- List your products or services clearly
- Have your customers’ details in order
- State your payment terms
Are you still writing your invoices in Word or Excel? You should change this ASAP! You might be happy with the look of your templates (and have been using them for years), spreadsheets are far from professional invoicing.
The crucial point here is the technology behind it. In order to be legally compliant, you should store all your invoices complete, comprehensible and inalterable. This can only be guaranteed with a professional software. In addition to making your billing easier to manage, invoicing software also offers a neat layout, reinforcing your overall professional image.